Louis, Prince of Condé (1530–1569)

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Louis I de Bourbon
Prince of Condé
Louis Ier de Bourbon, 1er prince de Condé (1530-1569).jpg
Born(1530-05-07)7 May 1530
Died13 March 1569(1569-03-13) (aged 38)
SpouseEléanor de Roucy de Roye
Francoise d'Orleans, Mademoiselle de Longueville
IssueBy Eléanor de Roucy de Roye:

Henri, Prince of Condé

Marguerite de Bourbon

Charles de Bourbon

François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti

Charles de Bourbon, Cardinal, Archbishop of Rouen

Louis de Bourbon

Madeleine de Bourbon Catherine de Bourbon

By Francoise d'Orleans, Mademoiselle de Longueville:

Charles de Bourbon, Count of Soissons

Louis de Bourbon

Benjamin de Bourbon
HouseHouse of Bourbon-Condé
FatherCharles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme
MotherFrançoise d'Alençon
ReligionCalvinist (Huguenot)
prev. Roman Catholic

Louis I de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (7 May 1530 – 13 March 1569) was a prominent Huguenot leader and general, the founder of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon.


Born in Vendôme, he was the fifth son of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, and the younger brother of Antoine de Bourbon who married Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre;[1] their son, Condé's nephew, became Henry IV of France. Condé's cousin, through his father - who was the brother of Antoinette de Bourbon - was Mary of Guise. His mother was Françoise d'Alençon, the eldest daughter of René, Duke of Alençon and Margaret of Lorraine.

As a soldier in the French army, Condé fought at the Siege of Metz in 1552,[2] when Francis, Duke of Guise successfully defended the city from the forces of Emperor Charles V, and again at the Battle of St. Quentin in 1557.[2]

Whilst returning from a campaign in Italy, Louis stopped in Geneva to hear a sermon.[3] After his conversion to Protestantism, he is suspected to have become involved in the Conspiracy of Amboise in 1560,[a][b][4] a plot by the Huguenots and members of the House of Bourbon to abduct the adolescent King Francis II and usurp the power of the House of Guise, who were the leaders of the Catholic party. The plot failed, leading to the massacre of many Huguenots.[5] Condé was arrested in late October 1560,[6] but later released 8 March 1561.[7]

On 2 April 1562, Condé, commanding a Huguenot army, captured Orléans, with it he issued a draft stating that King Charles IX was being held hostage by the House of Guise.[8] However, Queen-mother Catherine de' Medici proclaimed she and her son were not hostages and that Condé's actions were unlawful and constituted a rebellion.[8] Condé was captured at the battle of Dreux in 1562.[9] At Orléans, the duke of Guise was assassinated, and when the Queen's fears that the war might drag on led her to negotiate a truce, Condé negotiated the Peace of Amboise with the Catholic party in 1563, which gave the Huguenots some religious toleration.[10] In the third French religious civil war, Condé was killed at the Battle of Jarnac in 1569.[11]

His son, Henri, also became a Huguenot general.[12]


Condé married in 1551 Eléanor de Roucy de Roye (1536–1564),[13] heiress of Charles de Roye. She brought as her dowry the château and small town of Conti-sur-Selles, southwest of Amiens, which would pass to their third son, progenitor of the princes de Bourbon-Conti. They had:

On 8 Nov 1565 he married Francoise d'Orleans, Mademoiselle de Longueville,[1] they had:

He allegedly fathered a son by his mistress Isabelle de Limeuil, who served as Maid of Honour to Catherine de' Medici and was a member of her notorious group of female spies known at the French court as the "Flying Squadron". He vigorously denied paternity much to Isabelle's chagrin.[14]

Depiction in media[edit]

Louis Condé is played by British actor Sean Teale in the TV show Reign. He has an affair with Mary, Queen of Scots and leads a coup against the monarchy.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lucien Romier states Louis initiated the conspiracy, but according to Knecht the evidence is inconclusive[4]
  2. ^ Regnier de la Planche, a contemporary source, claims a group of person instigated the conspiracy[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Knecht 1989, p. 134.
  2. ^ a b Mullett 2010, p. 107.
  3. ^ Knecht 1989, p. 15.
  4. ^ a b c Knecht 1989, p. 24.
  5. ^ Knecht 2000, p. 67.
  6. ^ Knecht 2000, p. 71.
  7. ^ Knecht 2000, p. 76.
  8. ^ a b Knecht 2000, p. 85-86.
  9. ^ Knecht 2000, p. 101.
  10. ^ Knecht 1989, p. 38.
  11. ^ Knecht 1989, p. 41.
  12. ^ Knecht 2000, p. 185.
  13. ^ de Boislisle 1902, p. 198.
  14. ^ Strage 1976, p. 131.
  15. ^ "Reign - Season 2- Sean Teale joins cast". Spoiler TV. Retrieved 31 January 2015.


  • de Boislisle, A. (1902). "Trois Princes de Conde: A Chantilly". Annuaire-Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de France (in French). 39 (2).
  • Knecht, R.J. (1989). The French Wars of Religion, 1559-1598. Longman.
  • Knecht, R.J. (2000). The French Civil Wars. Pearson Education Limited.
  • Mullett, Michael (2010). Historical Dictionary of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Scarecrow Press.
  • Strage, Mark (1976). Women of Power: The Life and Times of Catherine de' Medici. Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich.
Louis, Prince of Condé (1530–1569)
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 7 May 1530 Died: 13 March 1569
French nobility
New title
Dynasty founded
Prince of Condé
1546 – 13 March 1569
Succeeded by
Henri I de Bourbon